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"Winter Afternoon Flying Loops around Mt. Rainier"
JANUARY 27, 2012

On this brilliant late-January afternoon, the sky was cloudless and the gigantic snow-encrusted mount gleamed in the mid-winter light, and Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens stood as distant sentinels on the horizon. As usual, winds were raging from the northwest, forcing us to fly in 3/4-loops to avoid a turbulent convergence zone on Rainier’s southeast side. We climbed in elevation until we were just above the summit (14,411ft), where calmer conditions allowed us to make a complete loop with a unique view looking directly down upon the summit crater. The total flight—which originated and ended in Concrete, included a stop to fill up on fuel in Arlington, and involved flying along the border of Sea-Tac Airport airspace—was 340 miles.

The flight path is shown to the right. (This flight line is made with actual GPS data.)

Three summits of Rainier
Rainier and Adams
Rainier and St. Helens
Crater and St. Helens
Close up - jumbled glacier
Close up - windblown
Close up - serac
Rainier, Adams, Hood, St. Helens